business and to its development phase, in exchange for a reasonable amount of shares in the starting business.What started as a selling pitch, with only some actual useful knowledge assets at hand and very little fundsreadily available, turned into the
strategic capital investment process
, a management and investmentstrategy
, that seeks to align the entrepreneurs and investors interests from the beginning of the investment process to the exit phase. This approach to Angel and Venture Capital investment, suited to LatinAmerica's business environment, arose from our experience in Negociosdigitales.By the end of 1999, even before establishing formally our company, we negotiated successfully our firstknowledge assets investment with Tucarro.com
, a small startup challenging the traditional classified medialeaders through an online service. In parallel we helped create Seguridadaldia.com, a crime prevention portal, in association with a well known Venezuelan writer and consultant on those issues, complementinghis expertise with our knowledge of the Internet as a business environment. Tucarro.com has grown to become the leader in the classified online and printed media industry in Venezuela, with its sister brandsTuinmueble.co, Tulancha.com, Tuavion.com and Tumoto.com, with strong footholds in Colombia andPuerto Rico. Negociosdigitales´ shares in Seguridadaldia.com were given back shortly to the other partner so that he could follow his personal vision and goals; this crime prevention portal is still widely quoted andfollowed.With two strategic investment processes going on, my partner Vianney Sánchez and I
burned the ships
anddevoted entirely our time and efforts to strengthening Negociosdigitales. Fernando continued in anadvisory roll. During 2000, we identified a very capable group of software developers who had created anInternet online service, Hiperlist.com, that was intensively used by hundreds of thousands of people fromall over the world to manage email lists and other groupware services with no cost to users. Advertisingwas supposed to pay for the entrepreneurs efforts. Unfortunately, Hiperlist was no good at making money but the software underlying it and the people who had developed it were great. Thus Negociosdigitalesconvinced them to change their business model and focus on developing services for large corporate clientsin need of sending bills and newsletters to their large costumer base. Together, the entrepreneurs and Negociosdigitales created Imolko in November 2000, a company that pioneered world class email listmanaging services to corporations and now provides all sorts of electronic messaging platforms. At the endof 2003, Negociosdigitales sold its shares in Imolko to Soluciones Láser, a Venezuelan IT company thathas strengthened Imolko. Thus Negociosdigitales was able to execute its first exit strategy, with small
The details of these strategy are described in Lorenzo Lara-Carrero y Vianney Sánchez García.
Capital de riesgo: El caso de las pymes tecnológicas - Cómo alinear los intereses de losemprendedores y los capitalistas de riesgo
. Debates IESA, volumen IX, número 1, octubre – diciembre2003, Caracas, Venezuela. An English version is available upon request firstname.lastname@example.org.